I know the title is a little provocative, at least to any women readers but stick with me. The inspiration for this came from a great book called The Way of Men by Jack Donovan, have you read it?
It’s powerful and I think it’s a must read for every man.
The book discusses how men need to be around men. It describes how ‘gangs’ of men have been instrumental in helping our species to be as successful as it is today. Jack explains how from the beginning of human existence societies have been founded by small groups of men who struck out on their own, claimed land, defended it, made it safe and put down roots.
This books had me question some of the decisions I’ve made in recent years, decisions which have created distance from the tribe of men who’ve had a big influence in my life – my buddies.
Yet to my partner, this could be a good thing because it seems from an evolutionary perspective women want men to be more like them. I don’t mean grow breasts, start wearing dresses or spend hours choosing an outfit. I mean more like them in nature – more family orientated, more nurturing and risk averse.
But here’s the thing, when I told my partner this she thought I was being ridiculous! In fact it’s unlikely many women will agree with me on this, because those traits aren’t generally what’s attractive to a women. What’s initially attractive to most women is a man’s masculinity, his enthusiasm, confidence and purposeful approach to life. All of the vigor that comes with having 10 times more testosterone than women.
“High testosterone men take more risks and seek more thrills. Men are more interested in competing for status, and when they win, their bodies give them a dopamine high and more testosterone.” ~ Jack Donovan
But that isn’t necessarily going to give a woman what she wants in the long term, because women tend to want to foster social stability, which in many ways goes against a man’s nature.
I got married when I was 26 and then swiftly divorced. Before we wore rings on our fingers my ex wife accepted who I was…or at least she put up with me. I didn’t feel any pressure to stop hanging out with my buddies or heading off on road trips with them. She knew my friends were important to me.
Yet it seemed to come as a big shock to her that after I got married, I’d want to continue having them be a big part of my life. I understand this better now, because like me at the time, she’d no idea being in a gang has been part of the essence of being man since the dawn of time. Whether it’s been a gang of warriors, builders or on a sports field. Men have always needed to be around men.
Of course a gang of violent, unconscious men can be dangerous but generally it’s healthy for the man and healthy for a relationship for men to get together. But not all women see it this way because a woman’s major purpose is to protect her family, to ensure the survival of her genes. So if she can take a bit of fire out the man’s belly, it means she has a safer and more secure way of life.
As Jack points out in his book it’s naive of men to think otherwise. Just like there’s a way of men there’s also a way of women. Women want a man to be around after impregnation, to protect her brood, to hunt for food to feed their offspring, it makes sense.
Of course we want this role too, we’ve evolved to be protectors of women and children and are more than capable of caring for them. But for some men this won’t be enough because we also need to be part of the gang.
If we give up on our natural inclinations in an attempt to make women happy, we shy away from who we are. As John Gray points out in his Ted Talk – we are not here to make women happy, it is a job we’re not qualified for.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do kind things to help put a smile on a woman’s face and show her love her and respect. But ultimately a woman’s happiness is her responsibility, just like your happiness is yours.
Some women will try to stunt the way of a man and it’s difficult for men to understand why a woman would stop them doing something so harmless like hanging out with their brothers. Yet to some women it can seem like a threat to the family unit, but by falling into the way of women, we give up our essence and life feels like something’s missing.
We become weaker and possibly resentful, even though the only person to blame is ourselves when we capitulate and go against our nature.
It is a fantastic evolutionary gift that women have an inbuilt penchant for wanting to build and nurture a family perhaps more than men. It is why the human race continues to flourish. Some men need women to help them avoid danger and careless risks, and it’s vital the family remains safe, fed and protected.
It is also important there’s a greater understanding of the powerful forces at work behind the scenes, which most men and women are oblivious too. And because we don’t understand or appreciate these deeper evolutionary drivers, it can lead to misunderstanding and conflict in relationships.
We both have our evolutionary biases that need considering. The fact is, men and women have evolved for very different purposes in uniquely different bodies, which have remained pretty much unchanged for the last 200,000 years. We tend to forget this.
However now we live in a world unrecognisable to then. 200,000 years ago life was really tough, environments were harsh and real dangers lurked. Men didn’t make it back alive from their quests, battles and adventures.
Men needed one another for survival but men also needed one another to make progress. To talk through ideas and to find solutions to problems. Nothing has changed, it applies just as much today as it did 200,000 years ago.
Men who want to live life to the full need the support, camaraderie and challenge that being around men provides.
But this doesn’t mean men can be complete cocks and use this as an excuse to spend more time drinking and cavorting with their buddies, neglecting their partners needs.
That won’t help you, but I do hope this helps you understand where each other’s coming from a little better. Let me know about your experiences or if this seems true and if you enjoyed this I suggest you go get the book – The Way of Men.
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